Creativity is defined as “a mental process involving the discovery of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the existing ideas or concepts, fueled by the process of either conscious or unconscious insight.” Wikipedia
Creativity can be expressed in many forms, be that through the arts, writing, cooking, thinking up ways to enhance your business, creating fun things to do with your family and friends or any other everyday circumstance where we allow ourselves to uncover new ways of being and thinking.
How do essential oils and creativity come together? Our sense of smell is a powerful stimulant of memories and thus, feelings. When we inhale the aroma of an essential oil the molecules enter the nasal cavity and are received by thousands of olfactory nerves, they are then sent directly to the limbic system; this is the part of the brain responsible for memory, pleasure, and emotions. Once in the limbic system essential oil molecules trigger the release of neurochemicals which are responsible for the range of sensation and emotion that we experience. Neurochemicals such as endorphins promote a sense of joy, sexual feelings or the reduction of pain; the release of serotonin calms and relaxes. The more a scent is paired with a particular experience the stronger that neural pathway becomes. Through repeated exposure the short term memory of the event is transferred to long term memory; once in long term memory, the neural pathway is set and even years later when exposed to that particular scent we will experience the same feelings and emotions as we had many years ago.
To enhance your creative process, try diffusing a few drops of essential oil in your favorite tabletop diffuser, or put a drop or two of essential oils on a tissue or cotton ball and inhale the aroma before you begin your project; keep the cotton ball nearby or tucked into a shirt pocket for continual exposure to the aroma. Any essential oil can help to enhance creativity; we may like some scents and not others but all will stimulate some thought, feeling or emotion; if we pay attention. You can choose essential oils that calm and relax, that are stimulating, those that are familiar or completely unknown.
Here are some suggestions on where to begin:
If you become anxious when you begin your creative project you may want to focus on essential oils that reduce stress, calm, sooth and relax.
Essential oils Suggestions
Bergamot Citrus bergamia – Reduces stress, anxiety and apathy
Frankincense Boswellia frereana – Reduces stress, eases mental blockage, reduces anxiety, and aids in inspiration.
Geranium Pelargonium graveolens – relaxes the mind, eases frustration and agitation
Grapefruit Citrus paradisi – calms frustration, supports mental clarity, enhances mood and inspiration
Orange Citrus sinensis – Promotes joy, eases nervous tension and worry
If you want to explore the unfamiliar try using an essential oil that you have never used before – you may or may not like the aroma but that scent could guide you into deeper reflection and a new creative experience.
Essential Oil suggestion
Basil Ocimum basilicum – Clears and uplifts the mind
Plai Zingiber cassumer – Plai has a pungent aroma most often used for pain relief but also useful for calming anxiety and anger
Cardamom Elettaria cardamomum – Spicy aroma promotes enthusiasm as well as calming anxiety
Cypress Cupressus sempivirens – Clears metal fog and eases nervous tension
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus – Sharp crisp sent, boosts enthusiasm, creativity, understanding, and mental acuity
Jasmine Jasminum officinale var. grandiflorum – Stong sweet aroma known for its aphrodisiac properties
Patchouli Pogostemon cablin – Strong earthy scent that reduces anxiety, assists with clear thinking, and mental stimulation
Have fun exploring and if you would like to share your experience we would love to hear from you.
“Living Poetry Aromas in Creativity Workshop”
Facilitated by Tara Lynn Groth and hosted by Nature’s Pure Essentials, Raleigh, NC
What a fun and creative day; a group of writers gathered and used essential oils to inspire their writing. Several essential oils were used and below are the poems that were written in the workshop.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this workshop and shared your poems.
Living Poetry Aromas in Creativity Workshop April 30, 2011
Gone are the mornings
when crisp air enters my nostrils
and heated air releases out
under the setting moon––
ephemeral evidence I am still alive.
Sunlight and nesting songs absorb
these summer-like mornings in April.
I am learning to walk outside and trust
in the gentle rise and fall of my chest
and the breathing I know is there
but cannot see.
Seventeen people trek seven hours
into a Puerto Rican rain forest,
each carrying a bamboo stick
to help us climb down
deeper into the heart of the forest.
Navy Seals had gone before us,
carrying 60-pound backpacks,
running the two miles in 45 minutes.
We relished in the flora––
swinging on vines, stopping to eat
unknown plants that tasted
like cucumber string cheese.
The further we went inside
the braver we got––jumping
off bridges, climbing
up rusty ladders and lava rocks
to see the world below.
We walked into the rain forest
as a group, and came out as a tribe.
You have a delicious everyday smell,
leather, musky, clean.
But when we dance the tango,
only we know the music and steps to,
you let me in on your secret.
Every pore of your temple opens up to me,
releasing your scent, your signature,
balming me in the luscious taste
of a golden late fall afternoon,
earthy, herbal and a note of Jasmine,
washing over me like rain,
carrying leaves, crimson and orange,
on which you offer youself to me –
a gift, undeserved.
Balm for the soul
Indulgence of the senses
Waking bodily desire
Putting reason to sleep
In velvet hums
my skin is vibrating
against your touch
I want to taste
the blossoming of you
in this southern heat
“Go out to play in the woods.
The fresh air will be good for you.”
“Let’s go for a walk through the forest
and you’ll breathe deeper.”
When all I wanted was to play
with the kids on my block
jumping rope, streetball or
hide and seek at the construction site.
To this day, I cringe when I smell
It has taken almost three years for Chris to get the flowering jasmine to vine over the post so it perches
just right and swings across to the light by the back porch.
Swinging on the hammock with feet pushing back, back and forth, absorbing the glorious surroundings
and the sweet little jasmine flowers smiling and falling down all over my being.
Grace, joy, peace.
Cold, sweat…rainy days
Mothers love has no measure
The comfort of your hands rubbing warm on my chest
The blue-sting of vics-medirub spreads across my heart
I’m safe, I’m better, I’m loved.
Tara Lynne Groth
She held a chicken
beneath a cherry blossom,
had her hair in braids
and a birthmark on her left cheek.
I thought of her when I hatched a chick,
climbed the dogwood
and swung under the heavy arms of my maple
with my braids.
Every time I see my reflection
the same birthmark is her smile.
She married an accountant,
moved to the suburbs
and had the first color TV on the block.
I had the first color printer on the block.
She was always quiet
and the house freshly cleaned
when I went to visit her and my grandfather’s home.
The sharp points of the sun clock on the wall,
it wasn’t until her last few years
she got wild with oils,
painting furious seas and ships,
sunny, French chateaus.
She finally became herself and then passed.
Now the sharp points of time are in someone else’s house,
her piano is my piano
and my reflection,
my birthmark on my cheek
is still her smile.
First Day at School
The long hallway
teacher holding me in her arms
I watched my mom leave
blue scrubs disappearing in a blue dot
at the end of the hall
I wanted to keep crying
but after a few deep breaths
there was nothing left.
The teacher left me
to play in the sand and water room
sand running through my fingers
water running through my fingers
just like time.
Funny how today the long hallway to New York
is not long enough.
I am only happy when I’m in my North Carolina room
under Carolina blue skies.